The planet's coolest jobs: theme park ride designer
From stomach-lurching rollercoasters to immersive, magical environments, theme parks are dedicated to fun and adventure – but what's it like to be a part of creating those adventures? Rosie Brailsford is a designer and creative at LEGOLAND®, and has recently been working as lead creative on the Windsor park's newest ride, Haunted House Monster Party. We chatted to Rosie to find out what goes into creating such vibrant and exciting attractions that families from all over the world come to enjoy...
Describe your job in five words!
Creative, immersive, unique, exhilarating and different!
What does your job involve?
As the lead creative for the new Haunted House Monster Party ride at LEGOLAND®, I work with my team team to develop the ride's concept, theme and overall guest experience. I then get architects, graphic designers and ride engineers involved to bring the ride to life! I am lucky to say that no two days are same, and prior to the opening of the ride I spent a lot of my time on site, getting everything ready. A typical day for me could include briefing contractors as to how something for a ride should look, brainstorming and crafting mood boards, or designing some of the ride graphics.
What rides have you worked on?
The Haunted House Monster Party ride is my first project at LEGOLAND® as lead creative, but I have previously worked on smaller projects at the park such as the LEGO® Reef. Last year I was lead creative for the team that opened LEGO® City Deep Sea Adventure Submarine Ride in California, which was an amazing experience!
What are the challenges you face when trying to bring a ride to life?
There are always challenges, which makes the whole experience more exciting. My overall aim is to transport guests to other worlds, times and places, taking them away from their normal lives and giving them a special memory to take away – so my biggest challenge is making that a reality. We also work closely with the team at LEGO® to ensure that we are getting the right colours, characters, shapes and sizes for all the different parts of the rides, which is hugely important. For The Haunted House Monster Party we used the house from the LEGO® Monster Fighters product line to design the front of the building, and had to adapt the scale of some elements, such as doors, so they are human sized (not minifigure sized!) to make them accessible for our guests – that’s not always easy!
What's your favourite ride out of all theme parks?
My favourite rides at LEGOLAND® Windsor are the Atlantis Submarine Voyage and Deep Sea Adventure rides, but the Haunted House Monster Party ride could definitely become my new favourite! My favourite ride anywhere in the world has to be Hex at Alton Towers.
What's the best thing about your job?
That is a tough question! I really enjoy being on-site for delivery and installation of a brand new ride, seeing the project come together and being able to make those finishing touches to really bring the attraction to life. Coming up with the big idea for a new ride is always fun too – I love the concept stages where you get to be super creative and develop new stories and experiences.
What advice would you give someone who dreams of having a job like yours?
My advice would be don’t give up! You’ll learn something new every day as a designer – I know that sounds cliché but it’s true. If you have a passion for experiences and immersive design then that’s a great start. An education or background in something that is design-based is also super useful!